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Full text of "A story of the original Ku Klux Klan"





KU KLUX KLAN 



MR. A1SJD MRS. W. B. ROMI.NH 

copyright 1-924 

tTJBLrSHED s\ 

The Pulaski Citizen 
jpuj.aski, tenn. 



341182 









/) 



CO 

OS 






ULASKI, the county seat of Giles County, Tenn., birth- 
.?> place of the original Ku Klux Klan, is a town of 'about 
~$M four thousand population, situated on the t. and N. : Rail- 
road, eighty miles south of Nashville, Tenn.* 

The. ' t<?wn was in antebellum days and still remains the 
seat .of much, culture and wealth. It's citizenship is, and has 
always, been, composed j of representative old families of the 
South. Many of their beautiful, old colonial homes have passed 
a way and. are passing- day by day to decay. Many still] remain 
■as monuments to the classic architectural beauty of their build- 
ers and' 'to the high-bred, hospitable peoplewho once possessed 
them and whose spirits still seem with aristocratic, stately mien 
to tread' their vaulted corridors, with "the tender grace of a day 
that is dead." 

Most of these rare old homesteads had splendid plantations 
connected with them. The situation was ideal for these plan- 
tations occupying as they did, in the language of another Ten/- 
nessee writer, the "Dimple of the Universe/' 

The owners of these homesteads and plantations were also 
owners of large numbers of negro slaves whose occupation it 
was to work in these fields of cotton and of corm The relation 
between slave and slave holder here in Middle Tennessee was,, 
nearly always one of mutual trust, kindness and friendly in- 
terest. It may not be generally known, but it is a fact,' that 
Tennessee freed her own slaves and was not included in the 
emancipation proclamation. 

/The Ku Eux Klan which was organized following the war 
was not organized for the purpose, as some have believed of 
oppressing and punishing the negroes who had recently been 
freed and who were as yet unaccustomed to their new circum- 
stances and conditions of life and were as "children crying in 
the night, children crying for the light and with no language 
but a cry." 

The truth is, the men who composed the membership of the 
Klan accidently discovered the power their order wielded over 



ORIGINAL K'C KLUX KLAN 



fche minds of the supe^titiou* negro^, so. lately set at liberty 
and also over the tenant and lawless white "element, both be- 
ing rendered unruly by atrocious political influences. These in- 
fluences and conditions in general called upon the Klan to use 
fch ls power to protect and defend their helpless and disorganized 
land. In the beginning this position of Law and Order League 
had never been even remotely anticipated by the members of 
tne order but it was thrust upon them by numerous wanton acts 
and the Klan rose as one man to meet the demand, proclaiming 
with no doubtful voice, that it stood for peace, law and order. 
That it was not a political or military party, but a protective 

!3£^V W ° Uld " Uem " USe Vi ° lenCe eXCePt iU resistin S 

The original inception and organization of the Klan was 
most unique and interesting. Ex-Confederate soldiers return- 
ing to their homes, overpowered, disfranchised and unrepre- 

S!w ^ ° n r e f y sHe > wrecked homes > br oken fortunes, 
iesolate fields. Business, professions and money, all gone 
They were returning to a land that once had known "the glory 
which was Rome, and the grandeur which was Greece" but that 
was „ow a < land which had known sorrows, a land which had 
Droken the ashen crust and moistened it with her tears, a land 
scarred and riven by the plowshare of war, and billowed with 
the graves of her dead." Their hearts and minds were natural- 
ly sickened with the sight of it all and to divert their mind* 
and occupy their thoughts, several yoUng men of the town of 
Pulaski, yiz-Calvm Jones, John B. Kennedy, Frank O. Mc- 
Cord, John C. Lester, Richard B. Reed and James R. Crowe 

ZT17 -, afe lde \° f ' ° rmi ^ a S ° cial clufe which was organized! 
Dec. 24, 1865 m the law office of Judge Thos.. M. Jones, which 

4 tablet to these immortal men.) The widow of John B Ken- 
nedy, who was the last of the six organizers to answer the final 
ro 1 call unveiled, this tablet May U, 1917, shortly after the- 
ntty-nrst anniversary of the organization. 

The next meeting was held at the palaital Spofford home 

pZt ls n r °r e i a ri operated as «« ^^ ciub H ou Se f 

Pulaski. The Spofford family was away from home, and one 
of the young men had been asked to sleep in the house. It was 
at this meeting, Calvin Jones, chairman of the committee on 




OBIGINAL KU KLUX KLAH 



By-Laws and Bitual submitted a draft of the same which after 
discussion and amendment was adopted. At this meeting also 
a name was selected for the Club- The first name suggested 
was from the Greek word Kuklos, meaning a circle, A Georgia 
soldier present proposed the word Clocletz the name of a phan- 
tom chief of a mysterious Indian tribe who the Georgia negroes 
imagined led his skeleton followers over the swamps and savan- 
nas of Georgia. Another ex-Confederate soldier present sug- 
gested combining" the sounds of the words and evolved the 
name Ku KIux, seemingly fraught with meaning and yet really 
meaning nothing whatever but in its very sound suggesting 
mystery and the rattling together of dry bones. The name was 
completed by adding Klan- 

The only object of the Klan at first was fun by means of 
farsical initiations, and ceremonies attending the reception of 
.new members, 

A basement left intact when a large house was 
wrecked by a storm made an ideal "Den," A large mirror which, 
-jn some mysterious way escaped the fury of the storm, had 
been stored in the basement, and was utilized in the ceremony. 

The 'Klansmen would assemble. The first sentinel would 
take his station, a large stump of a tree that had stood near 
the house. The sentinel's robe extendinng down over the 
stump, and a high hat, gave him the appearance of a man 
about ten feet tall. The outside sentinel, similarly robed, but 
mot so tall, would take his station at the entrance to the 
grounds. Then the candidate invited by a member to join 
him in an evening walk would come upon the scene.! 

The outside sentinel would challenge the men as they 
.approached with something like this: "Who are ye that dare 
to intrude upon our sacred precincts?" The member, previously 
trained in his part, would explain that no intrusion was intend- 
ed. That he and his friend, giving their names, were simply 
taking a walk and happened to come this way. ' But since we 
have come upon you, we may say that we have been talking 
over the matter, and would like to become members of the 
Klan, if acceptable. A shrill whistle from the sentinel would 
'.be responded to promptly by guards, robed and hooded, who 
were instructed to conduct .these strangers who desire to learn 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



6 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



more of the Klan. j 

, The candidate and his friend were then conducted to the 
inside sentinel standing high on his perch, who, after several 
questions were satisfactorily answered, gave a whistle, and 
ordered the attendants who responded, to blind-fold the candi- 
dates and conduct them onward. Of course only the candidate 
was blindfolded, but he supposed his friend was likewise a 
candidate and also blindfolded/^ 

In the basement or "Den," the candidate still blindfolded 
was solemnly sworn to secrecy, he must not under any circum- 
stances let it be known that he was a member of the Klan, 
must not reveal the identity of any other member to any one 
except it be a brother Klansman, must keep secret everything 
pertaining tc the Klan, and yield unquestioning obedience to 
legally constituted authority. ] 

r 

At the conclusion of the obligation, the presiding officer, 
after a few appropriate remarks would ask, "What shall be 
done to the new brother whom we delight to honor?" Several 
suggestions were usually offered, but the agreemnt would be 
reached that he should be arrayed in royal apparel. 

Attendants were then ordered to bring forth the royal 
robe and put it on him; belt a sword about his waist; and place 
the royal crown on his head. Bear in mind gentle reader, that 
the candidate is still blindfolded. But as you are not, you may 
observe that the "royal robe" is a donkey's skin carefully 
tanned with the hair left on it; the sword-belt, is a surcingle, 
and the crown is a piece of stage property used in the pre- 
sentation of "Mid-Summer Night's Dream," a donkey's head. 
Then as the attendants chanted ; 

"0 wad the powers some giftie gie us, 
To see ourselves as others see us." 
The hood-wink was removed, and the candidate was permitted 
to observe his full length reflection in the mirror. Instead of a 
prince in royal robes with a crown on his head, behold a jack- 
ass standing on his hind legs. 

After laughing at the canndidates' embarrassment, order 
would be restored, and the Klansmen would take up the dis- 
cussion of some enterprise, apparently suspended for the initia- 




tion. At the proper time the new brother would be assigned 
some imaginary post of important duty on which great and 
far-reaching consequences were said to depend. Then another 
brother would object to placing an untried and comparatively 
unknown man in a position of such responsibility. Pretty soon 
a lively discussion was in progress as to whether the new 
brother could be depended upon to obey the orders of his su- 
periors without hesitation or investigation. Friends who knew 
him well would vouch for his dependability, while same would 
insist that he was as yet untried, and unknown, and that it 
would be hazardous to assign him to a position on which so 
much depended. When this discussion had proceeded far 
enough, some one would suggest that the new brother be sub- 
jected to a test', something that would try his bravery and dar- 
ing, and prove his willingness to obey.\ 

/'Near the entrance to the basement room which was being 
used as a "Den," there had been, as was generally known in 
the community, a very large cistern in which the water was 
often twglve to twenty feet deep. As if the thought of a proper 
test had just occurred to him, the Cyclops would rise, order the 
men to follow him, and stalk from the room. When near the 
cistern he would suddenly stop, turn upon the new member, 
and with all the dignity and authority at his command, w T ould 
order him to jump into the open cistern. Of course he would 
not leap to what appeared to be almost certain death. Then 
the commanding officer would order, "Attendants, do your 
duty." Stout men would sieze the candidate and pitch him 
feet foremost into what appeared to be the familiar cistern. 
But instead of going down into the deep dark, cold water, the 
candidate landed on the same blue-grass sod on which his com' 
panions were standing. The top of the cistern had been re- 
moved a few feet, and the mouth was covered over with plank 
But in the darkness and excitement of the occasion, no one 
ever noticed this till too late to save his boasted reputation 
for bravery and 'obedience. The initiation was usually com- 
pleted with a few words of admonition to the effect that those 
in authority would not make unreasonable demands, and that 
such commands as they issued, even though danger might at- 
tend, were for the best interest of all, and should be obeyed. 
Usually undesirables were avoided with little difficulty. 



V 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



But, occasionally one of these would become persistent in his 
efforts to gain admission to the ranks of the Klansmen One 
insistent citizen was blindfolded and obligated in the usual 
way, Then he was placed in an empty barrel near the top of a 
Ml and the barrel was given a good start with nothing but a 
smooth pasture of blue grass and white clover to impede its 
progress.) 

( Another undesirable, after being obligated to secrecy, 
was. conducted to a ravine in a dense forest some two miles 
from town, and told to wait thare till he should be called After 
waiting patiently for several hours, when the birds began 
enirping at the approach of day, it finally dawned upon the 
fellow teat he was not to be called for, and he quietly made 
his way homeA 

. To their credit, it is said they faithfully kept their obliga- 
tion, and never by word or act intimated that they had been 
initiated, or knew anything about the, secrete of the Klan..\ 

The change from a crowd of young men at play -to the 
serious mission which caused the Ku KIux Klan to be known 
and. feared everywhere, came about by accident. The men who ' 
organized the Klan and. took part in those early initiations, 
never dreamed of the development and results, which came 
almost, with the suddenness of an explosion. 

One night when the outside sentinel was standing at hi- 
post waiting for the approach of a brother with a candidate a 
young negroman from a nearby farm came along, coming 
into town. He did: not see the white robed figure standing by- 
he road-sido till directly opposite. When he, did see the senti- 
nel, he called out in fright: "Who's that?" On the spur of the- 
momejit, the sentinel in a deep, sepulchral voice responded, 
I m a ghost." Several people had been killed in the storm 
that struck that part of town a few months before, And the 
combination of circumstances was too much for Ham's nerves 
and his feet ran away with him. 

; When the initiation, of the evening was- oarer/ the sentinel 
told, simply as a joke, the story of his adventure will, the 
young negro man. The members joined in a hearty lau 

Then the thought occurred to one man, and he sugg-e I to 

others, the possibility of utilizing the new and myster 



OBI&lNAIi %V %hV% %\m 



t « 



< ft 



g;aniz£itlo:n, to restrain young negroes, who were .beginning to 
run amuck aX social conditions, by taking advantage of the 
negroes' superstitious fear of ghosts. It was agreed to give 
tthis man's theory a trial,/ t 

— J 
On Third Street in the best residence section of the town 
•was ^a house occupied temporarily by a family of negroes in 
■which were three ox four grown-up girls. This house was a 
general rendezvous for the disorderly element of negroes in the 
,coromuj>ity. These girls, their friends a.nd visitors, made con- 
ditions intolerable for their refined neighbors. A request that 
they mnduct- themselves in 3 xn9T& decent and orderly manner 
would be met with insult- They were not merely .noisy, but 
rough, profane and vulgar, took special delight in being offen- 
sive .and aggressive in their attitude toward white people who 
.knew that to resent such conduct as self-respecting people 
.always do, would precipitate trouble- And before a court mar- 
tial composed largely of ignorant, prejudiced negroes, no white 
man could hope for anything but more trouble- So it was 
,agreed to try an experiment on this family. And to make it 
impressive and give the appearance of great numbers, they de- 
cided to conduct a horseback parade- Robes were prepared 
for the horses as well as men. And one evening about nine 
.o'clock there was formed a procession of silent ghost-like men, 
^each mounted on an equally ghost-like horse, all covered with 
.long, white robes so that the blacks, bays and sorrels, all look- 
ed alike- The processjon moved slow and silent Not a sound 
was heard except, the foot falls of the horses, and moving at a 
moderate walk, they made very little noise. The men rode 
two and two, and kept a good distance apart so as to form 
.quite a long procession- When the leader stopped, all stopped 
.and when he moved, all followed- So the procession turned 
into Third Street and moved forward till the leader came to 
the house occupied by the disorderly negro family- The leader 
silently reined up at the front gate and politely asked one of 
the young negroes in the yard for a drink of water. The negro 
brought a dipper of water which the horseman drank, said it 
was good, and asked if he might have some more. A second 
.dipper was brought- Again the negro was thanked, and asked 
io bring the water bucket. The horseman had a rubber bag 
/'•oncf^pq 1 under hjs robe, into which he emptied the contents 



— 



10 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



of the bucket. But to the astonished negro it looked like he 
drank it. Then passing the empty bucket back to the negro 
with polite thanks, he remarked that was the best water he 
had tasted since Shiloh. The bloody battle of Shiloh was less 
than a hundred miles west of Pulaski, and the negroes especial- 
ly had been deeply impressed with the stories about how the 
wounded men, of both armies begged for water. The parting 
reference to Shiloh was the studied climax of the interview. 
No reference was made to the boisterous conduct of the ne- 
groes. No threat nor admonition. The horseman silently 
returned to his place at the head of the procession and the pro- 
cession silently moved on till it turned the corner, then vanish- 
ed from sight. The men removed their own robes, and those 
of the horses, and the ghost-like procession had vanished into 
thin air. But the effect of that visit remained. Boisterous 
revelry ceased in that yard quite as suddenly as if there had 
been a funeral in the family. Visitors came no more at night, 
and soon the negroes found more congenial quarters in another 
locality'.) * 

fit is impossible to describe, and difficult even to imagine, 
the general effect. Men sought admission to the ranks of the 
Ku Klux Klan by the hundred, then by the thousand. All fun 
and boyish pranks were cut out of the initiation, and the cere- 
mony became a simple obligation of secrecy. Committees 
went from Pulaski to other communities, even to other states, 
to establish new dens. The messenger who took the organiza- 
tion to South Carolina is still living in 1924, and has often told 
the writer the story of his adventure. Other committees came 
to Pulaski for initiation and instruction, and then returned to 
their homes to establish, the organization there. Each new or- 
ganzation became a new centre of activity. There were no 
fees or dues at first and no general head or central organization, 
except the deference shown by common consent to the origi- 
nal den at Pulaski. Any man who had been initiated might ini- 
tiate w:iom he would. Only the character of the men, the ex- 
periences through which they had recently passed as soldiers 
in the Confederate army, and general conditions of the coun- 
try at that time, saved the new organization from shipwreck. 

No one can understand the phenominal growth of the 
Ku Klux Klan, nor the reasons for its existence, without «me 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



« general idea of conditions in the South during what is known 

as the period of reconstruction. Give free rein to the imagina- 
tion for a little while and try to picture conditions as they ex- 
isted here at that time. Practically all the white men of the 
South had been soldiers in the Confederate army. Those, who 
survived had not only lost their fortunes, but were disfran- 
chised. Nearly all the Southern States were under military 
government. The war was over but civil government had not 
been restored. Here in Tennessee a kind of civil government, 
existed. But it was worse, if possible, than the military gov- 
:nment of the other Southern States. B'ew representative 
white men could vote, hold office or serve on a jury. Many 
men who had enlisted for the war had been mustered out of 
service, and had returned home. The ranks of the army of 
occupation during the period of reconstruction contained many 
negroes, foreigners, and fellows who preferred service in the 
army rather than citizenship. 

' ' /No more faithful or reliable servants were ever known 
than the Southern negroes. Not only before the war, 
but while their masters were away in the army as a rule 
with few exceptions they stayed at home and took cave 
of the women and children. There was mutual trust and 
confidence, and never a thought that the negro man might turn 
upon his white friends like a snarling, savage beast. But the 
negro slave was not a soldier or voter and never had much whis- 
ky. His master would sometimes give him a drink, but he could 
not go to the saloon and buy it. But as a free American cki- 
zen, serving in the army, voting, holding office, serving on 
juries, and getting drunk along with carpet baggers and scala- 
wags, he became a very different individual. \ \ 

The South at that time was a particularly inviting field 
for the individual who came to be known by the expressive 
term, carpet bagger,' The carpet bag was a kind of cheap 
satchel or hand bag made of carpet or coarse cloth because 
that material was cheaper than leather. The term carpet bag- 
C" fy ger came into general use to designate a worthless, irrespon- 

sible fellow recently come into the South, who took an active 
interest in politics, could vote and hold office, but owned no 
real estate, and usually no mors personal property than was 
carried about with him in his carpet bag\ He was not the kind 




ia 



ORIGINAL KIT KLtJX KUAN 



ORJGlANh %V IM" thAn 



13 



of citizen to be missed from the community whence he came. 

( The scalawag was very much the same kind of individual,, 
only" he was a home-grown product. As the tides of battle 
ebbed and flowed back and forth over. the South, he enlisted 
first in one army, then in the other. Not that he. might stand 
up and fig'ht, as brave men do, but that he might keep out of 
the war, steal horses and commit othejr crimes. When the war 
ended he secured his discharge papers, and so was able to. 
qualify as a. member, of the Loyal Union League, an organi- 
zation composed largely of carpet baggers, scalawags and 
rnulattoe_s,. These would, gather such negroes as they could, 
assemble at meeting places, usually at night, and by false and 
prejudicial appeal, and. vague promises, and the liberal use of 
Cheap whisky, they were driving the negroes wild, and. securing 
their own. election, to office. One of the stock arguments, and 
one of the most effe.ct.ive used by these people, was. that the. 
large plantations, of, the South, had. been cleared, and. put into 

cultivation by the negro slaves who had never been paid for the. 
labor.,, And. with, the boasting assurance that when they get 
into office, they would see to it that all these big plantations, 
were, divided up, and. ea.ch. negro would be given forty acres 
and a, niuleJ 

(The carpet baggers, scalawags and. a few negroes who 
would do their bidding, filled practically all the offices. There, 
was such an. orgie of extravagant, waste of public funds as the. 
county had never known. Why should these, people, care about 
high taxes or bonded indebtedness? They paid no taxes and 
owned no real estate, to he burdened, with bonds. 

There were, a few honest and honorable gentlemen. in the 
South who enlisted in the Federal army when the war came on 
because, they didn't agree, with the majority of the Southern 
people. But as a. factor during reconstruction, intelligent, 
honest, white, men. of the. South, who could, vote were in a. help- 
less minority. / 

A large majority of negroes remained the kind hearted 
faithful people they have, always been. and. are yet, But uidei 
the combined influence of liquor and evil associates, some of 
them became dangerous savages. Men dared not Leave theij 

Wives and daughters, alone lest, they be. insulted, or jjss.-iiilird 



G 



• 



And the condition of large numbers of widows and orphans of 
Confederate soldiers was distressing,^' 

J It was when these conditions bad reached their climax . 
that the Ku J£lu.x Klan burst upon the scene like Elijah of old. 

/Toughtful men had been studying and praying over con- 
ditions as they were. But, though they sought diligently, no 
ray of light penetrated the blackness of despair which sur- 
rounded them, till the thought came like the voice of inspira- 
tion to one of God's prophets, that there is power in organiza- 
tion and cooperation, -and that the negro by nature has a super? 
.stitious fear of ghosts- JM"<ot even a drink of whisky or the 
promise of forty acres 0/ good cotton land and a mule, could 
-.tempt him to cross his threshold at night, when there was a 

probability that he might encounter "them Kluxes.'') 
'•■/-'■" J 

(Very few .acts &i violence or lawlessness were committed 

by members of the Klan- They relied almost exclusively on 

the negrpe's fear of ghosts, and cunningly devised tricks and 

schemes which made the offender the laughing-stock 

of bis f ellpws. One incident may serve to illustrate 

-the few rar# occasions when men took drastic action as a 

means of self protection.. A man who had been initiated a 

member of the Klan conceived the idea of turning traitor and 

betraying all the members he knew to the officials who at that 

:tim.e were trying to annihilate tbe organization, relying upon 

very drastic Acts recently passed by the legislature.."' 

(This .roan's activity in visiting different Dens and prying 
Into their activities, and especially his efforts to meet and find 
out the mjvw of members,, aroused suspicion- And when the 
men began to study and Keep watch on his movements, they 
secured propf positive of his plans- Other plans were then 
made to check-mate his efforts. When ready, as he sup- 
posed, to spring his great surprise., with all necessary papers in 
.his possession, he took the train at Pulaskj for some Northern 
.destination. A message was sent by wjrg to a Klansman at 
(Columbia, thirty miles north of Pulaski, The message read: 
• u Wheat Is going up," The telegraph operator who handled. 
the message probably supposed it referred to some transaction 
i<rj grain. But the man who received it understood its purport. 
When the train reached Columbia a committee quietly 



341182 



14 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



called the traitor to one side, and when the train proceeded, hfe 
was not among the passengers. Perhaps very few ever knew 
what became of him. Not many ever heard of the incident. 
At that time the few who knew dared not talk about it. The 
traitor, is supposed to have fallen into Duck River, and as he 
was never heard of afterward, it is supposed he was drowned. 

/ The Klan which at first fought shy of all kinds of publicity 
later changed and gradually sought more and more publicity 
through the newspapers, and through every imaginable form 
of public, mysterious and grotesque demonstration such as 
marching and counter marching through the streets, doubling 
back and forth, so as to make the impression that their num- 
bers very far exceeded what they really were. In the notable 
parade which took place at Pulaski July 4, 1867 crowds of 
pople who thronged the streets to witness it, as they had been 
informed of its coming by numerous posters distributed about, 
declared it equaled in numbers at least ten thousand riders, 
when the truth of the matter was, there were not more than a 
few hundred participating. During the parade a laughable inci- 
d'-.nt is said to have occurred on the north side of the Public ' 
Square. As the parade reached that point one of the riders spy- 
ing an old negro man standing close by and with wide, terrified 
eyes looking on, dismounted from his horse and in the most 
dignified manner requested the old darkey to riold the bridle 
for him. The old darkey was in that precarious position it 
seemed to him when it was "d — if you do, and d — if you 
don't." So he extended his hand to grasp the bridle when to 
his utter Lorror and amazement the rider deposited not only 
the bride-, bat his own head in the out-stretched hands of the 
negro who immediately declined any further service and left 
the scene post haste declaring as he went he "jes natcherly 
want gwine to hoi' no white man's boss' haid wh.ut didn't have 
no haid of his own cep de one he wuz axin me to hoi'. Two 
naids to hoi' at one time wuz jes too much for one nigger eny 
how.' ,N \ 

A word about the regalia worn by the members of the 
Ku Klux Klan. 

/ As the Klan stood primarily for the purity and preserva- 
tion of the home and for the protection of the women and chil- 
dren, especially the widows and organs of Confederate sol- 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



15 



■iiers, white, the emblem of purity was chosen for the robes. 
And to render them startling and conspicuous red, emblem of 
the blood which Klansmen were ready to shed in defense of the 
helpless was chosen for the trimmings. Also a sentimental 
thought probably was present in adopting the color scheme, as 
white and red were the Confederate colors. Be it said to the 
credit of the women of the South who designed and made with 
their own hands more than four hundred thousand of these 
Klan robes for both horses and riders, not a word was said by 
these women to any one about them and not one single secret 
concerning them was ever revealed. 



^ In view of the rapid growth of the order, and the absence 
of any form of central government or authority, men who, 
were not members of the order began going about at night,, 
masked, and often committing crimes and depredations which 
naturally were charged to the Ku Klux. And there were ; a 
few clashes of authority when men from diffent den-s would 
meet. So a general council was called, and all the Dems, as 
■ for as could be reached, were asked to send delegates. After 
due consideration, it was agreed to effect a strong central or- 
ganization, each Den surrendering its independence and become 
ins a unit in the general scheme.^ 

A constitution, called a Prescript, was adopted, and was 
printed in the office of the Pulaski Citiizen. The Prescript 
named the different officers of the organization, set out the 
territory over which each had jurisdiction, and the duties to 
be performed by each. 

The following order from the Grand Dragon of Realm No X 
will give an idea of the plans and purposes of the Klan at the 
beginning of its active operations in this new and broader 

field : 

Headquarters, Realm No. I, 
General Order No. I. 

Whereas information of an authentic character has reach. 
ed these headquarters that the blacks in the counties of Mar- 
shall, Maury, Giles and Lawrence, are organized into military 
companies with the avowed purpose to make war upon and 
exterminate the Ku Klux Klan, destroy our homes, desolate 
or land, heap indignities upon our fair good women, ten thous- 



je 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



17 



#nd times ^erse -than death itself, said blacks are hereby 
solemnly warned and ordered tovdesist from further action in 
such organizations, if they exist. J 

\. The Grand Dragon regrets the necessity for such an order,, 
but this Man shall not be aut-raged and interfered with by 
lawless negroes and meaner white men,, who/ do not and never 
have understood our purposes. 

m> lln the first place this. Klarjs is not an institution of violence/ 
lawlessness, and cruelty; it is not lawless, it is not aggressive,, 
it i§ not military, it is not revolutionary. It is essentially, origi- 
nally and inherently a protective organization. It proposes to- 
execute l&w instead of resisting it; and to protect all good! 
men, whether white or black, from the outrages of bad men of 
both colors, who bave been for the past three years, a terror to. 
society and an injury to us all. The blacks seem to be impress- 
ed with the belief that this Klan is especially their enemy. We.- 
are not the enemy of the blacks, as long as they behave them- 
selves* make no threats upon us, and. do not attack, or interfere: 
with us. 

/ ""* 

/ But if they make war upon us they must abide the awful. 

retribution that will follow. 

This Klaij„ while, in. its peaceful movements* and. -disturbing, 
no one, has been fired into three times,. This will not he en- 
dured any longer; and if it occures again, and the parties be- 
discovered, a remorseless vengeance will he wreaked upon. 

them. 

We. reiterate that we- are., for peace and" law andi order. No, 
man, white or black, shall be molested for bis political senti- 
ments. This Klan is not. a political party; it is not. a military 
party; it is a protective organization., and. will! .never use, vio- 
lence except in resisting, violence. 

(Outrages have been perpetrated by irresponsible parties; 
in the name of the Klan. Should these parties be apprehended, 
they will be dealt with in a manner to insure us j future exemp- 
tion from such imposition. These imposters have, in some . 
instances, whipped negroes. This is wrong! Wrong! It is de- 
nonced by this Klan as it. must, be by all good and. humane: 
men. 



( # 



( I 



i The Klan now as in the past is prohibited from doing such 
things. We are striving to protect all good, peaceful, well 
disposed and law-abiding men, whether white or black.) 

The Grand Dragon deems this order due to the public, due 
to the Klan, and due to those who are misguided and misin- 
formed. We therefore, request that all newspapers who are 
friendly to law, and peace, and public welfare, will publish the 
same. 

By order of the Grand Dragon of Realm No. I. 

By the Grand Scribe." 

We appeal to you, fair-minded reader, if the Klan was 
not right, and ask you this question, that you may answer from 
the depths of your being: If you had lived under such condi- 
tions, and such horrible outrages as the; people of the wrecked 
Southland were enduring, would you not whether from North, 
South, East of West, have acted just as these Klansmen did? 
.We are sure ydu would for it has been truly said; "A noble soul 
salutes a noble, soul, though the boundaries of the earth divide 
them." A good man hates a bad one wherever he may be 
found and between the two everywhere there is even "to all 
eternity" "a great gulf fixed." 

The Klan was made stronger and more efficient by organi- 
zation. But opposition became correspondingly more bitter and 
general. A Congressional investigation was conducted, and 
very drastic legislation was enacted both by the' legislature of 
Tennessee,, and by Congress for enforcement by military 
authority. '■* - • ■■' 

;' A 'second general council was called to assemble "in Nash- 
ville' in June 1867, to take into consideration all the circum- 
stances and determine what course to pursue. ? Cdnditions 
were serious. Everyone recognized the danger. A clas'h^might 
i occur' at any time and might precipitate "Civil war again;? But 
with such a large percentage of the population disfranchised 
and under military government, or a nominal Civil 'government 
sustained by militia, and administered by ignorant, prejudiced 
men who had little understanding of the people and no interest 
in the well being of the state and its citizens, what could be 
■done? Without the restraining influence of the Klan, the whole 
people, women as well as men, were at the mercy of a drunken 



18 



ORIGINAL KU KLWK. KLAN 



mob. The Klan offered the only hope for something- better.. So. 
it was agreed to revise- and perfect still further the Prescript,, 
and effect a reorganization, under the leadership of the gallant 
Confederate. General N. B. Forrest as Grand Wizard Authori- 
ty was conferred upon the Grand Wizard to take whatever 
action he might deem best. With, perfect, understanding of the 
consequences, Gen. Forrest was, to all intents and purposes, 
clothed with the authority Q f dictator. This revised. Prescript 
has been, preserved, in the. American Historical Magazine pub- 
lished at Nashville, Tenu., Jan. 1900, from which, extracts are 
reproduced as follows:.. 

Revised And, Amended P»!es*:ript <*£ tjieu Order cjt the * * * 
Appellation 

This Organization shall be styled, and denominated, the- 
Order of the * * * 

Creed; 

We the Order of the: * * % reverentially acknowledge 
the majesty and supremacy of. the Divine Being, and reeognize 
the goodness and. providence Q f the same. And we recognize 
our relation to the United States Government, the supremacy 
of teie Constitution, the Constitutional Laws thereof, and the- 
Union of States thereunder. 

Chfti^actejr And. Object*- o£ the Order 

This is an institution, of. Chivarly, Humanity, Mercy, andi 
Patriotism; embodying in. its genius and. its principles all that 
is chivalric in conduct, noble in. sentiment, generous in man-, 
hood, and. patriotic in purpose; its peculiar objects being: 

First, To protect the weak,, the innocent, and the de- 
fenseless, from the indignities, wrongs, and outrages of the 
lawless, the. violent, and the brutal; to relieve, the in jured and 
oppressed; to succor the suffering and. unfortunate, and especi- 
ally the widows, and. orphans of Confederate, soldiers.. 

Second... To protect, and . defend- the Constitution- of the 
United StSat.es, and all laws passed, in. conformity thereto, and 
to protect the States and the people thereof from all invasion 
from any source whatever. 

Third, To. aid, and. assist. in, .the execution. of all constitu-- 



(ORIGiNAU -KU SLOT «UAN 



19 



w clonal k&wjs, and to protect the people from unlawful seizure, 

,-and from trial except ^>]/ tjhe,ir peers in conformity to the laws 
<o.f .the land- \ 



) 



ARTICLE I, 

TJJtle* 



Section. 1. 'The -officers of this Order shall consist of a 
(Grand Wizard of the Empire, and his tep Geni),; a. Grand Drag-- 
<on of the Realm, and his eight Hydras; a Grand Titan of the 
Dominion, and his six Furies; a Grand Giant of the Province, 
.and his four Go"blins;;a Grand Cyclops of the Den, and Ms two 
iNight-hawks-; a Grand .Magi, and Grand Monk, a Grand Scribe, 
.a Grand Exchequer, a Grand Turk, and #. Grand ^entinei. 

Section 2. The .body politic S& this Order shall be known 
.-and designated ..as ",Ghpuby' J 

ARTICLE 11 

'Territory And It* jDivisjons 

. : Section "1 The territory ..embraced within the 'jurisdiction 
cof.this Order shall .be coterminous with the States of Maryland 
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, 
.Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas., Arkansas, .Missouri, 
lKentucky,.anr| Tennessee;. all combined, constituting the Empire 

Section 2. The Empire shall be divided into four depart- 
iments, .the firsjt to be .styled the Realm, and coterminus with 
-the boundaries of the several States; the second to be styled 
.the Dominion, and to, be coterminous with „ ; such counties as the 
.Grand Dragon s »of the several Realms may assign to the charge 
.of the Grand Titan. The third to be styled the Province ; and 
vto be coterminous , with the several counties; provided., the 
(Grand Titan may, when he deems i,t necessary, assign jtwo 
<Grand Giants .to one Province, prescribing, at the same time, 
ithe jurisdiction of each. The fourth department to be styled 
-.the Den, and shall embrace such part of a Province as the 
tGi'and Giant shall .assign .to the charge qf a Grand Cyclops. 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



ARTICLE III. 

Power* And Duties of Officeis 

Grand Wisaxd 

Section 1. The Grand Wizard, who is the supreme officer 
of the Empire, shall have power, and he shall be required to 
appoint Grand Drangons for the different Realms of the Em- 
pire; and he shall have power to appoint his Genii; also a Grand 
Scribe, and Grand Exchequer for his Department, and he shall 
have the sole power to issue copies of this Prescript, through 
his subalterns, for the organization and dissemination of the 
Order; and when a question of paramount importance to the 
interests or prosperity of the Order arises, not provided for in 
this Prescript, he shall 'have power to determine such question, 
and his decision shall be final until the same shall be provided 
for by amendment as hereinafter provided. It shall be his duty 
to communicate with, and receive reports from, the Grand 
Dragons of Realms, as to the condition, strength, efficiency, 
and progress of the Order within their respective Realms. And 
it shall further be his duty to keep, by his Grand Scribe, a list 
of the names (without any caption 'or explanation whatever) 
of the Grand Dragons of the different Realms of the Empire, 
and shall number such Realms with the Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3 9 
etc, ad finem; and he shall direct and instruct his Grand Ex- 
chequer as to the appropriation and disbursement he shall make 
of the revenue 'of the Order that comes to his hands, 

Grand Dragon 

Section 2. The Grand Dragon, who is the chief officer of 
the Realm, shall have power, and he shall be required, to ap- 
point and instruct a Grand Titan for each Dominion of his 
Realm, (such Dominion not to exceed three in number for any 
Congressional District) said appointments being subject to the 
approval of the Grand Wizard of the Empire, He shall have 
power to appoint his Hydras; also, a Grand Scribe and a Grand 
Exchequer* for his Department. 

It shall be his duty to report to the Grand Wizard, when 
required by that officer, the condition, strength, efficiency, and 
progress of the Order within his Realm, and to transmit, 
through the Grand Titan, or other authorized sources, to the 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



21 



Order, all information, intelligence, or instruction conveyed 
to him by the Grand Wizard for that purpose, and all such 
other information or instruction as he may think will promote 
the interest and utility of the Order. He shall keep by his 
Grand Scribe, a list of the names (without caption) of the 
Grand Titans of the different Dominions of his Realm, and shall 
report the same to the Grand Wizard when required, and shall 
number the Dominions of his Realm with the Arabic numerals 
1, 2, 3, etc., ad finem. And he shall direct and instruct 1 his 
Grand Exchequer as to the appropriation and disbursement he 
shall make of the revenue of the Order that comes to his hands. 

Grand Titans 

Section 3. The Grand Titan, who is the chief officer of 
the Dominion, shall have power, and he shall be required, to 
appoint and instruct a Grand Giant for each Province of his 
Dominion, such appointments, however - , being subject to the 
approval of the Giand Dragon of the Realm. He shall have 
the power to appoint his Furies; also, a Grand Scribe and a 
Grand Exchequer for his Department. It shall be his duty to 
report to the Grand Dragon when required by that officer, the 
condition, strength, efficiency, and progress of the Order within 
his Dominion, and to transmit through the Grand. Giant, or 
other authorized channels, to the Order, all information,, intelli- 
gence, instruction or directions conveyed to him by the Grand 
Dragon for that purpose, and all such other information or 
instruction as he may think will enhance the interest or effici- 
ency of the Order. 

He shall keep, by his Grand Scribe, a list of the names 
(without caption or explanation) of the Grand Giants of the 
different Provinces of his Dominion, and shall report the same 
to the Grand Dragon when required; and shall number the 
Provinces of bis Dominion witu the Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3, 
etc., ad finem. And he shall direct and instruct his Grand Ex- 
chequer as to the appropriation and disbursement he shall 
make of the revenue of the Order that conies to his hands. 

Grand Giant 

Sec. 4, The Grand Giant, who is the chief officer of the 
Province, shall have power, and he is required, to appoint and 
instruct a Grand Cyclops for each Den of his Province, such 



32 



tatiGiNAii. Ktr sjLtrx klaw 



^pppintments, however, being subject to the approval of the* 
Grand Titan of the Dominion, And he shall have the further 
power to appoint his Goblins; also,, a Grand Scribe, and a Grand 
Exchequer for his Department- 

It shall be. his duty to supervise arn&t. ad'minasteir general, 
and special instructions in the organization, and. establishment 
of the, Order within his Province, and. to report, to thie. Grand* 
Titan, when required hy that officer,, the condition, strength,, 
efficiency, and progress, of the. Order within* his Province.,, and 
to transmit through, the Grand. Cyclops,, or other: legitimate 
sources, to the Order, all information, intelligence, instruction,, 
or directions, c.onyeye.d. to him hy the . Grand. Titan or other 
higher Quthority for that purpose, and. all such other infbrmar- 
tion or instruction, as hft may think, would! advance the. purposes, 
or prosperity of the Order. He shall keep, by his Grand Scribe,, 
a list of the names (without, captiont or explanation!) of the- 
Grand Cyclops, of. the.- various Dens of his Province, ai*d> shall, 
report the same to the Grand Titan, when required.; and. shalf: 
number the Dens of hi* Province, with the Arabic numerals 1„ 
2 tj 3, etc.;, ad. fiwenu. He shall determine and limit the number 
of Dens to be organized and established in. his- Province; andi 
he., shall direct and instruct, his Grand Exchequer as. to the ap- 
propriation and disbursement he shall make of the. revenue of* 
the- Order that comes.s to. his hands;. 

Grand Cyjclop*. 

Sec. 5., The Grand Cyclops, who is the chief officer of the.- 
Den, shall have powe.r to appoint, his Nightrhawks, his Grand 
Scribe, his Grand, Turk, his Grand Exchequer, and his Grand" 
Sentinel., And. for small offenses he may punish any member, 
by fine, and, may reprimand him for the same, And he is f urthT- 
e.r empowered to admonish, and reprimand- his Den, or any of; 
the members thereof, for any imprudence, irregularity, or 
transgression, whenever he may think that, the interests, wel- 
fare, reputation., or safety of the Order demand it. It shall be. 
his duty to take, charge, of his Den under the. instruction and/; 
with the assistance (when practicable) of the Grand Giant, and, 
in accordance with and in- conformity to the "provisions of this; 
Prescript — a copy of which shall in all cases be obtained before - 
the; formation of. a... Den begins.. It. shall further. be. his. duty to-> 



c 



ORIGINAL K*5 ULlDX WLAW 



2$ 



I 



anoint all regular .meetings of his pen,, and to preside at the 
same; to appoint irregular meetings when he deems it exped- 
ient; to preserve order and enforce discipline in his pep; to 
impose Janes for irregularities or disobedience of orders; and 
*o receive and initiate candidates Jfor admission into the Order, 
.after the same shall have been pronounced competent and 
worthy to become members, by the Investigating Committee 
herein after provided fox- And it shall .further he his duty to 
;make & quarterly report to the Grand Giant of the condition, 
.strength, efficiency, and progress of .bis Den, ^nd shall comrnu^ 
nicate to the Officers and Ghouls of his Den, all information, 
intelligence, instruction),, m .direction, conveyed ,to him by the 
(Grand Giant or other higher authority for that purpose; and 
ishall from Jtime to time administer all such pther counsel, in- 
fraction or direction, as in his sound discretion, will conduce 
;to the interests, and more effectually .accomplish,, the real ob- 
jects and designs of the Order. 

articus iy.. 

Election of Officers 

Section 1. 'The .Grand Wizard shall be elected biennially 

by the Grand Dragons of Realms.. The first election for this 
.office to take place on the 1st Monday in May,' 187.0, (a Grand 

Wizard having been created, by the original Prescript, to serve 
.three years from the 1st Monday in May., 1867) .; all subsequent 
.elections to Jake place every two years thereafter. And the 
incumbent Grand Wizard shall notify the Grand .Dragons of the 
(different .Realms, „at least six months before said election, at 

what time and place the samp will be held; a majority vote of 
.all the Grand Dragons present being necessary an.d sufficient to 
.elect .a ,G.rand Wizard. .Such election shall be by ballot, and 
• shall beheld by three Coramissioners appointed by the Grand 

Wizard for that purpose; and in the .event of _a tie, the Grand 

Wizard shall have the casting-vote- 

Secfion 2. .The Grand Magi ajid the Grand Monk of Dens 
-shall be elected annually by the Ghouls of Dens; and the first 
•election for these officers may take place as soon as ten Ghouls 
lhave been initiated for the formation of a Den. All subsequent 
flections to take place every year thereafter. 

.Section 3- In .the .event of a vacancy in the office of 






ORIGINAL KU KLUX 

Grand' Wizard, by death, resignation, removal, or otherwise, 
the senior Grand Dragon of the Empire shall immediately as- 
sume and enter upon the discharge of the duties of the Grand 
Wizard, and shall exercise the powers and perform the duties 
of said office until the same shall be filled by election; and the 
said senior Grand Dragon, as soon as practicable after the hap- 
pening of such vacancy, shall call a convention of the Grand 
Dragons of Realms, to be hey at such time and place as in his 
discretion he may deem most convenient and proper. Provided, 
however, that the time for assembling such; Convention for. the 
election of a Grand Wizard shall in no case exceed six months 
from the time such vacancy occurred; and in the event of a 
vacancy in any other office, the same shall immediately be filled 
in the manner 'herein before mentioned. 

Section 4, The officers heretofore elected or appointed 
may retain their offices during the time for which they have 
been so elected or appointed, at the expiration of which time 
said offices shall be filled as herein-before provided. 

(Sections prescribing the duties of minor officers, and 
details, are omitted. Also expressive Latin quotations which 
were used as head lines for each page of the pamphlet.) 

ARTICLE VII. 
Eligibility For Membership 

Section 1. No one shall be presented for admission into 
the Order until he shall have first been recommended by some 
friend or intimate who is a member, to the Investigating Com- 
mittee, (which shall be composed of the Grand Cyclops, the 
Grand Magi, and the Grand Monk,) and who shall have investi- 
gated his antecedents and his past and present standing and 
connections; and after such investigation, shall i ;iave pro- 
nounced, him competent and worthy to become a member. Pro- 
vided, no one shall be presented for admission into., or become 
a member of this Order who shall not have attained' the age of 
eighteen years. 

Section 2, No one shall become a member of this Order 
unless he shall voluntarily take the following oaths or obliga- 
tions, and shall satisfactorily answer the following interroga- 
tories, while kneeling, with his right hand raised, to 'heaven* 
and Ms. 'left ftsncl resting on the Bible; 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



25 



'•[- 



Preliminary Obligations 

-solemnly swear or affirm that I will never reveal 



any thing that I may this day (or night) learn concerning the 
Order of the * * *, and that I will true answer make to such 
interrogatories as may be put to me touching my competency 
for admission into the same. So help me God." 

(Several questions were then asked.) 

If the interrogatories are satisfactorily answer- 
ed, and the candidate desires to go further (after something of 
the character and nature of the Order has thus' been indicated 
to him) and to be admitted to the benefits, mysteries, secrets 
and purposes of the Order, he shall then be required to take the 
following final oath or obligation. But if said interrogatories 
ere not satisfactorily answered, or the candidate declines to 
proceed further, he shall be discharged, after being solemnly 
admonished by the initiating officer of the deep secrecy to 
which the oath aiready taken has bound him, and that the ex- 
treme penalty of the law will follow a violation of the saa''o 



"I- 



Final Obligation 

-of my own free will and accord, and in the pres- 



ence of Almighty God, do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will 
never reveal to any one not a member of the Order of the * "'' * 
by any intimation, sign, symbol, word or act, or in any other 
manner whatever, any of the secrets, signs, pass-words, or mys- 
teries of the Order of the * *■ *, or that I am a member of the 
same, or that I know any one who is a member; and that I will 
abide by the Prescript and Edicts of the Order of the* * *. 
So help me God." 

The initiating officer will then proceed to explain to the 
new members the character and objects of the Order, and in- 
troduce him to the mysteries and secrets of the same; and shall 
read to him this Prescript and the Edicts thereof, or present 
tha same to him for personal perusal. 

ARTICLE IX. 

Interdiction 

The origin, mysteries, and Ritual of this Order shall never 
be written, but the same shall be communicated orally. 



z& 



ORIGINAL T£V KcLtfX KLAN 



9. The most profound and rigid secrecy concerning arty 
and everything that relates to. the Order, shall at all times bft 
maintained. 

10. Any member who shall reve.al or betray the. secrets of 
t;hi^ Order, shall suffer the extreme penalty of the law. 

Ad.manitiott 

Hush! thou art not to utter what, I am; bethink thee J. it 
xvas. qu£ cqvenautl 

Registec 
I, 
I. Bigmaf &.$$«*&!* 3.. Stormy... &. PeeuIiaE. 5"- EEbom- 
ifrg, 6, 'Brilliant, 7. Painful,. 8. Portentous,.. 9,. Fading.. 1CL 
Melancholy, U- Glorious,. 12, Gloomy.. 

IL. 
l v White, SU Cree.u>. 3,. Yellow.. 4„. Amiierc. 5.. Eurplej &. Crink- 
qon A Sk Emerald. 

OTL 
X. Fearful. 2... Startling, 3. Wonderful. 4. Alarming. & 
Mournful. 6. Appalling. 7, Hideous. 8,. ErightfuL Q, AwfuL 
1Q,. Horrible, 1.U PjeadfuL 12.. Last,. 

Cumberland 
L'ENVOL 

To the lovers- of* law arret, effder* peace, and.! Justice, we> sendl 
greeting; and to the. shades of. the. venerated, dead., we affec- 
tionately dedicate, the Qrder of the. *' * *L 



Dissolution* 

Af ter- the reoi-ganizatio rt. from which, so much- was.:- e xpect- 
ed, matters grew worse. instead r of better. 

Most writers who have attempted to explain the order of 
the Grand Wizard disbanding the Ku Klux. Klan in. Match i 
1S69, have given, two general reasons. First, acts oJL violent 



]by men not members of the order, and which the Klan could 
not control. Second, drastic legislation, and especially a procla- 
mation of Gov, Brownlow of Tennessee, placing certain coun- 
ties of that State under martial Jaw, 

"Knowing something of the character &f Gen. F.orreivt, who 
.•was at that time Grand Wizard, vested with practically abso- 
lute authority over the Klan, and of his confidential advisers, 
we do not believe that either of these was a determining factor 
Why should a great military genius, a born fighter, disband a 
■compact organization of four hundred thousand men, exfce»d- 
,over a dozen states, because the Governor of one state declared 
partial law in a few counties? Or because a few men outside 
the organization committed unlawful acts in disguise, when a 
thousand fold moxe unlawful acts were being committed 
(openly.? 

A story told by a member <of the inner circle appears much 
more plausible Probably no documentary evidence of its 
.authenticity ever existed, and as both the principals are dead, 
the truth of the story may never be established as a historic 
fact. But believing it is worth preserving it is here given. 

The story as it came to the writer was that soon after 
■ Gen. IX. H Grant became President of the United States, March 
4, 186.9, he sought a personal interview with Gen. Forrest. 
*Gen. Forrest went guietly to Washington tp meet the President, 
-when a frank, heart to heart talk over conditions and dangers 
.confronting the country was had,. The possibility of a clash, or 
.an outbreak which might lead to Civil War was discussed.. 
Finally the President asked Gen- Forrest what be and his 
friends wanted; or on what conditions the Ku Klux organiza- 
tion would .disband. With characteristic directness, Gejh. For- 
■rest replied, that if the President would use bis influence to 
terminate military government in the South, and permit the 
Southern States to reestablish civil government in which their 
: representative citizens might take part, that he, Forrest, would 
use whatever influence he might have with his friends to dis- 
band the Ku Klux Klan. The two great soldiers looked each 
.other straight in the eye, each extended his right hand, and so 
they parted. And it is-significent that the order disbanding 
the Ku .Klux Klan was .issued in a few days and was followed 



ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



in less than a month by a special message of the President to 
Congress, recommending the restoration of the States to their 
proper relations to the Government at as early a period as the 
people of those States shall be found willing to become peace- 
ful and orderly communities and to adopt and maintain such 
constitutions and laws as will effectually secure the civil and 
political rights of all persons within their borders. It is also 
significant, that whereas during the four years which had inter- 
vened since the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, practically 
no advance had been made toward reestablishment of civil 
government in the South, during the first year of Grant's ad- 
ministration civil government was reestablished in seven of the 
eleven states which were still under military government when 
Presdent Grant was inaugurated. And rapid progress was 
being made toward reestablishment of civil government in the 
remaining four states. See Messages and Papers of the Presi- 
dents. Vol. VII. Special Message of April 7, 1869, and Presi- 
dent Grant's first Annual Message to Congress. 

Having met the needs for which it came into being at a 
time when all other means bad failed the Grand Wizard who 
had the authority vested in him to do so, ordered that the or- 
ganization known as the Ku Klux Klan be disbanded, that all 
regalia and equipment of every kind be burned, and that all 
assemblies and activities as Klansmen cease. 

The disbanding of the Klan was featured by strange and 
mysterious ceremonies, as was the organization and its initia- 
tions. One of the most notable of these ceremonies was that 
held at Nashville, led by Capt. John W. Morton, who was at 
that time Grand Cyclops of the Nashville Den. A party of 
mounted Klansmen in full regalia proceeded to give a final 
parade through the streets of Nashville, and this in face of the 
fact that the city was then in charge of several thousand mili- 
tia men who had taken the oath to capture any Klansman dead 
or alive, wheresoever he might appear. But in spite of this 
oath this squad of Klansmen made their appearance," from the 
surrounding country side and moving down the city street they 
passed as silently and stately and solemnly as the dead, on 
past the beautiful Capitol building .where a thousand hostile 
camp fires burned. They rode straight through and not a word 



Q 




It. J. ISItUNNON, AGE 82. 
Pulaski, Teim. 

An Original Klanwh'an Wearing an Original Robe. Believed to Ijo tho 
only original robe in existence. 
Specially posed for this booklet, March 25, 1924. 











MRS. MILDRED VOOKHIES 
Pulaski, Tenn. 

Who designed and made the first Ku Klux robe for her brother, John B. 
Kennedy, one of the organizers of the original Klan. This original design 
became the pattern for all others. 







ORIGINAL KU KLUX KLAN 



29 



was spoken, not a hand lifted against them, not a command 
given to halt them. They rode on and on past the outskirts of 
the city into the darkness of the night and the denseness of the 
forest. The men dismounted, the chaplain spoke a last prayer, 
arid for the last time the riders tenderly removed regalia of 
both horses and men, placed it ,in a grave, springled it with 
the ashes of their burned rituals, and with bowed heads passed 
out again down the shadowy paths of the forest glens. And so 
ended the original Ku Klux Klan. 

* But the memory of its men, their exalted purposes and 
dauntless spirit, and the principles for which it stood, will live 
as long as civilization endures, and chivalrous men protect de- 
fenseless women. 

So it wa:;, and so ended the organization which, brought 
the only relief to the desolated Southland in the dark days of 
reconstruction, immeiateiy following that awful contest be- 
tween the States, when brother's hand was lifted against broth- 
er; when the moan of Rizpah for her sons who came not again, 
v is heard throughout this great and beloved land of ours, 
when so many of her gallant sons wearing the blue and the 
gfray fought and died (or their convictions. 




We are thankful to God that at last we can say: 

"No more shall the war cry sever, 

And the winding rivers be red 

They banish our anger forever, 

When they laurel the graves, of our dead. 

Under the sod and the dew, 
Waiting the Judgment day; 
Tears and love for the blue, 
Love and tears for the gray." 



Yes, and we are further united forever by our boys in 
kahki who from the North and from the South fought side by 
side and died on the battle fields of France under one flag. 




SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE 

Yes, they fought for that flag, as their fore-fathers fought, 
When with blood at Valley Forge and King's Mountain 'twas 
bought , 

A.nd they bore it as those heroes, without blame, without stain, 

Repelling the outrages of the mad Kaiser's reign, 

Till the.sunlight of peace oe'r its colors did glance 

As they fought for freedom — Somewhere in France. 

There in sunny France where in shrine and in tomb, 

Repose her mighty monarchs in pale minster gloom 

Where shades of Napoleon and white plumed Navarre, 

Were leading them on mid the red ranks of war, 

They were pressing to the front and taking their chance. 

Fighting for freedom — Somewhere in Franch. 

Our boys by the thousand cheered on by our praise 

Under our banners in those world-war days. 

For God, for home — for sacred woman's sake, ; 

Resolved the cup to the dregs to take, 

E'en though to death, it might be, perchance, , " '"] 

Fighting for freedom— Somewhere in France. 

We women cheered them on in the fray 

As Joan of Arc, cheered the troops in her day. 

We prophesied for them as in Israel of old 

Deborah the deeds of her people foretold, 

Or as Miriam in her pride with cymbal and dance, 

While they were fighting for freedom— Somewhere in Franc 

They bathed that flag in glory, but not all brought it back, 

Some did not recross the wild billows track 

There were some who found rest in a Flander's forest shade. 

Some near the trench where they fell, have been laid, 

But each gave his life and shivered his lance, 

Fighting for freedom — Somewhere in France. 

And still some far down beneath the deep, cold waves, 
Where never a flower may bloom on their graves, 
On seaweed lie bivouaced in that last long sleep, 
Undisturbed by the tempests which over them sweep 
But the ramparts of Heaven will their waking entrance 
With all who died for freedom— Somewhere in France.